RIM Tablet Would Join Steep Competition
"The new OS gives them that capability," Gold told eWEEK. "And frankly, it could be very attractive to enterprises who want the bigger screens that tablets bring but still want the security and manageability that BlackBerry is known for. "Would it compete head to head with iPad? Perhaps. But I would suspect it is more aimed at business users than iPad would be." A RIM tablet would join the iPad, which has set the bar for tablet computers by selling 2 million-plus units in two months.A RIM tablet would also contend with tablets based on Android. The Archos 5 and the Dell Streak already exist, and Verizon and Google are building a tablet together. Samsung said yesterday it is building the Android-based Galaxy Tab for launch in the third quarter. HP is believed to have purchased smartphone maker Palm to inject Palm's WebOS into a tablet. All of this proves that many companies are chasing Apple in tablets. "It's reasonably easy to upsize a smart phone into a tablet device, especially if you are using Android," Gold said. However, Gold expects the tablet feeding frenzy to subside because the device is, like the netbook, a tweener. "I believe that tablets will not be as overwhelmingly successful as many people think. They will have a run for the next 6-12 months, but then I expect them to taper off. They will not eliminate traditional laptops, nor will they replace smartphones." Even so, the specter of a tablet shows that RIM, which finds its BlackBerry OS share pecked at by the iPhone and Android devices that provider a better Web browsing experience, believes it can't afford to let the next hot wave in mobile computing pass.
Unlike the iPhone when it was originally launched in June 2007, Apple's iPad is being lauded as an enterprise tool for work tasks, such as making presentations and sales pitches. Citrix studies and an analysts' poll revealed a great deal of support for the iPad among businesses.